Christian Canu Højgaard

Published On


Page Range

pp. 1–8


  • English

Print Length

8 pages

1. Introduction

Law as Literature—Literature as Social Network

Leviticus 17–26, an ancient law text known as the Holiness Code, prescribes how particular persons are to behave in concrete, everyday situations. Among Christian readers and scholars of the text, it has for the most part been considered obsolete or even a decay of biblical theology.
There is a growing awareness, however, that ancient law texts are not arbitrary collections of primitive laws but represent an ancient understanding of life and society which is rational in its own respect. Thus, over the last generation, a stream of anthropological, literary, and rhetorical approaches has enriched the study of biblical law. This chapter introduces yet another approach to grasp the ethos of the ancient law giver, namely that of social network analysis which offers a mapping of all persons of the text and their internal interactions as a means to investigate ethical roles and thereby the ethics implied by the text.


Christian Canu Højgaard

Assistant professor of Old Testament at Fjellhaug Internasjonale Høgskole

Christian Canu Højgaard (PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2021, awarded cum laude) is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Fjellhaug International University College Copenhagen. His main interests include Biblical Hebrew language (in particular verbal syntax and semantics), social readings of Biblical law, and digitalization of ancient texts. He is the general editor of Hiphil Novum, a journal for Biblical linguistics. He is currently involved in Creating Annotated Corpora of Classical Hebrew Text, a cross-institutional research project for the digitalization and annotation of ancient texts, and A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew led by Professor Geoffrey Khan.